He wasn't technically "MY" patient. He has been in our nursing home for awhile, and has been really sick for a week or so. I'm a CNA. I came in for my shift the other night and the nurse told me he probably wouldn't make it through the shift.
He had a lot of family there who I did everything I could to make them comfortable. The nurse, knowing that I'm going to nursing school
this fall, would send me in every couple hours to check his vitals. I apprecatiated her doing that, though it was awkward with 20 or so of his family members there. Especially when the batteries died in my digital thermometer, then his BP was so week, the little electronic BP cuff she had me use wouldn't even get a reading. I ended up just checking his carotid pulse to get a count. Then I finished turning him and giving him peri-care, more for the famiy's sake than the patients at that point.
Later, the nurse told me that it would have been okay for me to ask the family to step out for a minute.
What made the night hard was the guy's roommate. Because there were so many people there, he couldnt' go in his room most of the day. AFter dinner, he started complaining about going to bed. When his roommate finally expired, he began shouting across the unit, "HEY! CAN I GO TO BED NOW?"
I tried to explain to him that the family needed some time to grieve with their lost loved one, and all he said was, "they've had all day! How much more time do they need?" With that, I went and got the ADON. She came and took him off the unit and kept him at the nurses station with her until the funeral home and family had left.
The family was laughing watching me bolt in and out of patient's rooms answering call lights and getting people to bed. Not in a bad way, but they could tell I had my hands full.
At the end of the night, the nurse told me and the other aide that we did a good job of taking care of the dying patient and his family, while at the same time, making sure everyone else got the care they needed and also dealing with a problem patient. I didn't really interact much with the family. Another aide did, but he knows them much better, so I figured I'd just stay out of the way and let him talk to them.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this experience with everyone. This was my first time going through something like this in my new career.